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Stiff Knee: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A stiff knee can be caused by various factors, from aging and injury to arthritis and inflammation. It can be a minor inconvenience or a serious issue that affects mobility and quality of life. This article will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for a stiff knee.

What is a Stiff Knee?

A stiff knee is a condition where the knee joint has a limited range of motion, making it difficult to move or bend the leg. A number of factors, including injury, inflammation, and arthritis can cause this.

Causes of a Stiff Knee

There are several possible causes of a stiff knee, including:

  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage in the knee joint to wear down over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause inflammation and damage to the joints, including the knee joint.
  • Injury: Injuries such as a torn meniscus, ligament damage, or a fracture can cause stiffness and reduced range of motion in the knee.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation of the knee joint can cause swelling and stiffness, making it difficult to move the leg.
  • Aging: As we age, our joints can become stiffer and less flexible, reducing range of motion.

Symptoms of a Stiff Knee

The symptoms of a stiff knee can vary depending on the underlying cause, but may include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the knee joint
  • Swelling or inflammation around the knee
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • A feeling of tightness or stiffness in the knee

Treatment Options for a Stiff Knee

Treatment options for a stiff knee will depend on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Some possible treatment options include:

  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the knee joint, reducing stiffness and discomfort.
  • Medication: Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation in the knee joint, making it easier to move.
  • Surgery: In cases where conservative treatments are not effective, surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the knee joint or replace the knee joint entirely.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, and avoiding activities that put stress on the knee joint can help reduce symptoms of a stiff knee.


A stiff knee can be a frustrating and painful condition, but many treatment options are available to help manage symptoms and improve mobility. If you are experiencing symptoms of a stiff knee, talk to your doctor to determine the underlying cause and develop an effective treatment plan.

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